Choosing a nanny for your kids can be a difficult experience. Often times, you may find that you are second guessing yourself about how much experience your nanny should have, and what qualifications you should value more. While your unique situation will play a huge factor into how you decide what the best nanny for you will be, there are some basic considerations that all families should make when trying to decide if a nanny is right for them or not. When it comes down to it, having the right experience is a must. However, how do you know if your nanny has enough experience?
While there are several more considerations worth making, there are a few minimum guidelines that should apply to all situations. To start, the International Nanny Association requires the candidate be at least 18 years of age, must have a high school diploma or equivalent, and must be in good health with proof of immunizations. Additionally, it’s important to conduct a thorough background check with a reputable company and to request and verify any references from past clients and employers. This background check should include work history, driving records, criminal history with fingerprints, and legal work status. This process will help you verify eligibility to work as well. If your candidate is unwilling to allow for any of this, this is commonly an indicator of a candidate that should not make it for a personal interview in the first place.
It’s important to note that just because a candidate can pass these basic requirements does not mean that they are a good fit for your family. They may not even be a safe option. There are still several more considerations worth making. You will need to interview the person thoroughly as well.
Many of the additional considerations you will make in choosing a babysitter come from simple factors in your life and what you will need for your child that will be watched by the nanny. While it’s common for many families to choose a teenage family friend for stay at home watching of the child, if your child needs to travel to and from school, considerations such as if the responsible person has a driver’s license or has enough experience driving in the first place become huge considerations. If your child is on a special diet, has special needs, or if you need time set aside for your child’s development and education, experience in such matters becomes particularly important. While choosing a family friend may seem cheaper and more convenient initially, often times the experience in dealing with your child’s needs is just not there, particularly for care that will be needed over a longer period of time. This is where choosing a more experienced candidate may become an important consideration.
What makes an individual experienced in taking care of children? Consider their work history and contact job and personal references to get an idea of the individual’s personality and abilities. While you may go at this alone and deal with the whole process yourself, it’s generally an easier process working with a company that completes the process for you, particularly when it comes to gathering such information as that found in a background check. Trying to manage this for multiple candidates can become tiresome very quickly.
When interviewing a nanny, in order to determine the nanny’s experience, be sure to ask lots of questions relating to the duties that you will be expecting out of them and their past experience in fulfilling those duties. In the event that your nanny will be driving your child or children anywhere, you should be sure to ask about their driving history and if they have ever had any DUI’s. While some clients feel uncomfortable asking this of the potential candidates they are considering hiring, you have every right to know this information for the safety of your children! Be proactive in asking any relevant questions you can think of regarding your child’s safety and the candidate’s ability to handle any special situations or circumstances. Another often overlooked quality in nannies is their ability to respond in emergency situations with such knowledge as correctly using CPR.
If you have a special needs child, it is especially important to consider your nanny’s past experience with children with such needs. Ask all appropriate questions about their experience and check references.
Additionally, understand that any other basic tasks the nanny may have to take part in as part of the child’s care are worth considering. If your nanny can’t cook, for instance, the food selection for your child while being watched may be more limited.
Keep in mind that the interview is your chance to weed out inconsistencies, find out information you may not find on paper, and make the best determination if a candidate is right for your family. Take all the time you need to accurately determine if the nanny you are considering will be able to manage all the necessary responsibilities in taking care of your family in a safe and pleasant manner. Your kids deserve the best from you and those that provide them care.
Choosing an Experienced Nanny
As mentioned previously, choosing an experienced nanny is substantially easier when dealing with a reputable company as much of the legwork is already done for you. This can be a beneficial time saver in weeding out incapable candidates and presenting you quickly with quality individuals to serve you and your family.
OC Home and Family is happy to assist you in providing an experienced nanny that has been screened previously to ensure you are getting a safe, respectable choice for your family.
For more information, contact us at 949.335.7963.